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Contributing to Rover

Contribution guidelines

is a project by Apollo GraphQL and is not currently ready for external feature contributors, though some documentation contributions may be accepted.


Rover is written in Rust. In order to contribute, you'll need to have Rust installed. To install Rust, visit

Rust has a build tool and package manager called cargo that you'll use to interact with Rover's code.


To build the CLI:

cargo build

To build the CLI without rover supergraph compose (for Alpine Linux):

cargo build --no-default-features

To cross-compile Rover for different platforms, you can run the following, where TARGET is one of Rust's supported platforms:

rustup target add <TARGET>
cargo build --target <TARGET>

To build and run the CLI with a set of :

cargo rover <args>

For example, to build and run rover supergraph compose:

cargo rover supergraph compose --config config.yaml

You can also install Rover to your local PATH from source with cargo by first cloning this repository, and then running:

cargo rover install

To run tests:

cargo test --workspace

To format your code:

rustup component add rustfmt
cargo fmt --all

To lint your code:

rustup component add clippy
cargo clippy

To run the lint checker that is run in CI:

cargo xtask lint

To run the tests that are run in CI:

cargo xtask test

To spin up a local development server for Rover's docset:

cargo xtask docs


The Rover team primarily uses VS Code along with rust-analyzer when developing Rover. rust-analyzer can also be used with other IDEs if you are more familiar with something else.

How to contribute

Using issues

The Rover team works largely in public using GitHub issues to track work. To make sure contributions are aligned with the project's goals, keep the following issue etiquette in mind:

  • Open an issue for your contribution. If there is already an issue open, please ask if anyone is working on it or let us know you plan on working on it. This will let us know what to expect, help us to prioritize reviews, and ensure there is no duplication of work.
  • Use issue templates! These templates have been created to help minimize back-and-forth between creators and the Rover team. They include the necessary information to help the team triage your issue or question, as well as automatically applying the appropriate labels.
  • Issues with the triage label still applied have not yet been reviewed by the Rover team, and there are no guarantees that PRs fixing an untriaged issue will be accepted. It's best to wait for issues to be triaged before beginning work.

Submitting a Pull Request

Pull requests (PRs) should only be opened after discussion and consensus has been reached in a related issue, and you have communicated your intentions to create a PR with the Rover team.

  • When creating a PR, make sure to link it to an issue or use the Fixes #123 syntax to make sure others know which issue(s) your PR is trying to address and to help us automatically close resolved issues.
  • Include a helpful description. It is important to provide context to reviewers that show how your PR addresses an issue and any questions you still have unanswered, or portions of the code you think deserve some extra attention.
  • If your work is still in-progress and you're opening a PR to get early feedback, let us know by opening it as a draft PR and adding wip: prefix in the PR title.
  • Add tests for any logic changes in your code, especially if you are fixing a bug. Your PR should have no failing tests before merging. Please let us know if you need help writing tests, there are still some portions of the Rover codebase that do not have established testing patterns.
  • Add a changelog entry in under the Unreleased heading, following the pattern of previous entries.


Documentation for using and contributing to Rover is built using Gatsby and Apollo's Docs Theme for Gatsby.

To contribute to these docs, you can add or edit the markdown & MDX files in the docs/source directory.

To build and run the documentation site locally, you'll have to install the relevant packages by doing the following from the root of the rover repository:

cd docs
npm i
npm start

This will start up a development server with live reload enabled. You can see the docs by opening localhost:8000 in your browser.

To see how the sidebar is built and how pages are grouped and named, see this section of the gatsby-theme-apollo-docs docs. There is also a creating pages section if you're interested in adding new pages.


To read about Rover's architecture, and to see a guide on how to add new commands, please see our Architecture document.

Code of conduct

The project has a Code of Conduct that all contributors are expected to follow. This code describes the minimum behavior expectations for all contributors.

As a contributor, how you choose to act and interact towards your fellow contributors, as well as to the community, will reflect back not only on yourself but on the project as a whole. The Code of Conduct is designed and intended, above all else, to help establish a culture within the project that allows anyone and everyone who wants to contribute to feel safe doing so.

Should any individual act in any way that is considered in violation of the Code of Conduct, corrective actions will be taken. It is possible, however, for any individual to act in such a manner that is not in violation of the strict letter of the Code of Conduct guidelines while still going completely against the spirit of what that Code is intended to accomplish.

Open, diverse, and inclusive communities live and die on the basis of trust. Contributors can disagree with one another so long as they trust that those disagreements are in good faith and everyone is working towards a common goal.

Bad actors

All contributors tacitly agree to abide by both the letter and spirit of the Code of Conduct. Failure, or unwillingness, to do so will result in contributions being respectfully declined.

A bad actor is someone who repeatedly violates the spirit of the Code of Conduct through consistent failure to self-regulate the way in which they interact with other contributors in the project. In doing so, bad actors alienate other contributors, discourage collaboration, and generally reflect poorly on the project as a whole.

Being a bad actor may be intentional or unintentional. Typically, unintentional bad behavior can be easily corrected by being quick to apologize and correct course even if you are not entirely convinced you need to. Giving other contributors the benefit of the doubt and having a sincere willingness to admit that you might be wrong is critical for any successful open collaboration.

Don't be a bad actor.

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